Results 1 to 6 of 6

Thread: First time bonding advice

  1. #1

    Default First time bonding advice

    Hello all,

    We are at the initial stages of attempting to bond our rabbits, we've done lots of reading online but nothing quite seems to cover exaclty our scenario so it would be great to have some real advice.

    Our Rabbits
    Dutch - 8 month male Dutch Rabbit, he has been neutered for ~3 months. He is very happy but we were worried about the times we are at work and whether he would be lonely, so we thought it best to get him a friend. Until now he has been a house rabbit, with mostly free reign over the house. He has a dog crate as a 'base'.

    Doris - 2 month female Dutch Rabbit, she obviously hasnt been spayed yet but she will be once a little older. Currently she lives in a playpen next to Dutch's dog crate (now moved to a neutral room). They are seperated by around an inch, close enough that they can just about get nose to nose if they both really try.

    The bonding
    Its been a very confusing first week. Doris appears to be in awe of Dutch and just wants to be with him, she is always trying to get his attention and she sleeps on the side of the cage closest to Dutch. Dutch on the other hand, doesnt really seem to care either way most of the time and just ignores her.

    The few times they have got nose to nose, it has been interesting. The first time, Dutch actually started to groom Doris on the nose, which we thought was a great start. However, an hour or so later they met again, this time Dutch growled and lunged at her with his front legs. He didnt try an bite her, but it was definitely aggressive. Doris didnt bat an eyelid and just wants to be friends so bad!!

    Last night, Doris actually managed to escape her playpen (She'll be going in a dog crate now too). She must have put her head/body up against Dutch's cage as there are some tuffs of her fur in his cage. She seems uninjured and unfazed, but do we need to be worried?

    Im really struggling to read the signs, and wondering if we should keep them seperated for another couple of weeks or perhaps move onto the next stage?

    Also, is mixing a 2month and 8month wise? Dutch is so much bigger that if a fight did break out i dont think Doris would be able to defend herself very well?

    Any help appreciated, want to do what is right for the Rabbits but its very hard knowing what the right thing to do is.

    Many thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    Wise Old Thumper
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    IOW
    Posts
    12,296

    Default

    Hello and welcome to the Forum. Doris really is still a baby so I would keep her separate from your boy for another month or so to allow her to mature more. Adult rabbits do sometimes lunge at baby rabbits, even Mums do it to their babies. When she is a little bit older you will be able to try putting them together. There are other Members who have the same scenario as yourself so maybe they will be able to offer more advice.

  3. #3
    Wise Old Thumper MightyMax's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Posts
    30,631

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by masters02 View Post
    Hello all,

    We are at the initial stages of attempting to bond our rabbits, we've done lots of reading online but nothing quite seems to cover exaclty our scenario so it would be great to have some real advice.

    Our Rabbits
    Dutch - 8 month male Dutch Rabbit, he has been neutered for ~3 months. He is very happy but we were worried about the times we are at work and whether he would be lonely, so we thought it best to get him a friend. Until now he has been a house rabbit, with mostly free reign over the house. He has a dog crate as a 'base'.

    Doris - 2 month female Dutch Rabbit, she obviously hasnt been spayed yet but she will be once a little older. Currently she lives in a playpen next to Dutch's dog crate (now moved to a neutral room). They are seperated by around an inch, close enough that they can just about get nose to nose if they both really try.

    The bonding
    Its been a very confusing first week. Doris appears to be in awe of Dutch and just wants to be with him, she is always trying to get his attention and she sleeps on the side of the cage closest to Dutch. Dutch on the other hand, doesnt really seem to care either way most of the time and just ignores her.

    The few times they have got nose to nose, it has been interesting. The first time, Dutch actually started to groom Doris on the nose, which we thought was a great start. However, an hour or so later they met again, this time Dutch growled and lunged at her with his front legs. He didnt try an bite her, but it was definitely aggressive. Doris didnt bat an eyelid and just wants to be friends so bad!!

    Last night, Doris actually managed to escape her playpen (She'll be going in a dog crate now too). She must have put her head/body up against Dutch's cage as there are some tuffs of her fur in his cage. She seems uninjured and unfazed, but do we need to be worried?

    Im really struggling to read the signs, and wondering if we should keep them seperated for another couple of weeks or perhaps move onto the next stage?

    Also, is mixing a 2month and 8month wise? Dutch is so much bigger that if a fight did break out i dont think Doris would be able to defend herself very well?

    Any help appreciated, want to do what is right for the Rabbits but its very hard knowing what the right thing to do is.

    Many thanks in advance.

    Welcome to the Forum

    I was wondering whether anything in these links might help you with your bonding? I realise some of the advice is contradictory, and we all do this sort of thing in different ways. But there might be a gem amongst them that helps in some way.

    http://rabbit.org/the-most-important...g-is-patience/

    http://rabbit.org/introducing-rabbit...oup-situation/

    http://www.cottontails-rescue.org.uk...nding-bunnies/ (good for pair bonding)

    http://www.fatfluffs.com/info/bonding/

    http://www.actionforrabbits.co.uk/bonding.html

    http://forums.rabbitrehome.org.uk/sh...68#post6934868


    Book in RWAF shop:

    https://shop.rabbitwelfare.co.uk/pro...iona-campbell/


    Mischief and Tinkerís Mum
    http://forums.rabbitrehome.org.uk/sh...y-trios-videos!

    Also, Mairwen Guard has put some brilliant bonding videos on YouTube which are well worth watching - do search for them as there are quite a few.

  4. #4

    Default

    Thanks for the responses so far, it sounds like its probably best to give it another few weeks before we try and do a face to face meet. Hopefully in that time Doris will catch up a little bit with Dutch and the size different wont be quite so large.

    Ill have a read through the links / videos and see if there is anything new on there.

    Bonding animals is so stressful, we want to do whats best but i would feel guilty if one of them got injured!! I suspect im not alone though...

  5. #5
    Warren Veteran daphnephoebe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    Location
    Cambridge
    Posts
    8,109

    Default

    I agree with tonibun that she needs to grow up a little. She's still so young that if a fight breaks out I don't think she'd know how to protect herself.

    I'd suggest waiting until she's been neutered, allow 6 weeks post neuter before bonding.
    I mainly suggest this so you'll know she's definitely mature enough to handle any bickering. (Once hormones hit she'll know how to defend, but keeping hormones could make her aggressive - you'll see the behavioural change).

    In the meantime keep them living side by side. You can always alternate sides but ensure they're secure so they can't accidently get together.

    Provide them a private spot so they can hide from each other if they wish.



    Sent from my SM-G903F using Tapatalk

  6. #6
    Wise Old Thumper MightyMax's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Posts
    30,631

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by masters02 View Post
    Thanks for the responses so far, it sounds like its probably best to give it another few weeks before we try and do a face to face meet. Hopefully in that time Doris will catch up a little bit with Dutch and the size different wont be quite so large.

    Ill have a read through the links / videos and see if there is anything new on there.

    Bonding animals is so stressful, we want to do whats best but i would feel guilty if one of them got injured!! I suspect im not alone though...

    Oh my goodness, no you are definitely not alone .. This is a predicament we all face when bonding bunnies.

    We will support you as much as we can x

Bookmarks

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •